Flood Management

Flood Management: The Soft Path

New Orleans under water, 2005. Photo: FEMA
Floods are the most destructive, most frequent and most costly natural disasters on earth. Damages continue to soar despite huge expenditures on flood control structures. Dams and levees can never be fail-proof, and when they fail, they do so spectacularly. Climate change is expected to dramatically increase flood risk. "Soft-path" flood risk management seeks to respond to hydrological changes rather than control them. It is based on an understanding that all floods are not inherently bad – indeed, floods are essential for the health of riverine ecosystems.

Before the Deluge: Coping with Floods in a Changing Climate

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
International Rivers Network’s second annual "Dams, Rivers & People" report explains the failure of dams and levees to stop rising flood damages and describes better ways to tackle flood management. It also surveys the world of rivers and dams in 2006 and hotspots for 2007. Floods are the most destructive, most frequent and most costly of natural disasters. Flood damages have soared in recent decades, despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on flood control structures. This is partly because global warming is worsening storms, and partly because of growing populations and economic
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